Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—US jobs, Italy’s confidence vote, Gates under fire, deposing John Boehner

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What to watch for today

US jobs day comes early. Friday’s official jobs report won’t be issued if the government shutdown continues, so the best estimate will probably be today’s figures from payroll company ADP. Economists expect 180,000 new jobs for September, a very slight increase from August.

Italy’s government may not collapse after all. Prime Minister Enrico Letta is expected to survive a confidence vote as members of Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right party rebel against the media tycoon’s attempt to break up the governing coalition.

The ECB keeps things steady. The European Central Bank is not expected to raise interest rates, after inflation in the euro zone fell last month.

Better days for soybeans. Agricultural giant Monsanto reports fourth-quarter earnings, which are projected to riseBuilding its business in emerging economies like Argentina, Brazil and China will be key to the company’s future.

David Cameron bets his re-election on the UK recovery. The prime minister will deliver a speech framing the 2015 national election as a fight between his pro-business Conservative party and his socialist opponents.

While you were sleeping

The shutdown vs. US foreign policy. With House and Senate leaders showing no signs of changing their positions, President Obama is under pressure to call off a week-long Asia trip to Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. Malaysian media, citing the country’s prime minister, reported that Obama has already cancelled.

Tesco partners up in China. The British supermarket giant is paying $550 million for a 20% stake in a new joint venture that combines its 134 money-losing China stores with the state-controlled retailer China Resources Enterprise, which has about 3,000 shops.

South Korea and the US inked a new North Korea defense strategy. The “tailored deterrence” plan is aimed at preventing North Korea’s use of nuclear and other weapons.

Twitter’s IPO lock-up. Goldman Sachs told early investors they have until Wednesday afternoon to sign an agreement forbidding them from selling shares for six months following the listing, Reuters reports.

Japanese stocks retreated after Abe’s stimulus announcement. Shares sank to their lowest level in three weeks after the prime minister outlined a sales tax increase and a $51 billion stimulus plan.

Developing Asia will ride out the Fed tapering storm. Countries like India and Indonesia have enough currency reserves to survive the eventual end of easy money, the Asian Development Bank said, though it trimmed its overall growth forecasts for the region.

Australia’s richest person ended a legal battle with her children. Mining magnate Gina Rinehart said she would give up control of a multibillion-dollar family trust.

Some top Microsoft investors want Gates to go. Major shareholders are reportedly pressing the founder to relinquish his role as the company’s chairman.

Quartz obsession interlude

Christopher Mims on the first interesting search engine since Google. “Though Blippex constructs its search results on the basis of data gathered from its users, it does it in a way that’s anonymous and untraceable to any individual Blippex user. This obsession with privacy allows Blippex to rank pages—i.e., decide which pages to show people—with an algorithm that Google can’t match, because if Google gathered the data that Blippex does, users would find it unacceptably creepy.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

We have to leave fossil fuels in the ground. That’s the bottom line in the new climate change report. 

Wall Street should depose John Boehner. The budget impasse would be solved if the business community could oust the House Speaker and empower moderate Republicans.

The shutdown is no longer about Obamacare. The fight on Capitol Hill is now about the shutdown itself.

Don’t creep out your future employers. There’s a fine line between stalking and doing your homework before a job interview.

Trust your employees. Corporations spend millions to audit and regulate their workforces, but they would be better off just pocketing the cash, like Netflix and Berkshire Hathaway.

Thailand has a toxic addiction to slave labor. Employing cheap migrant workers in horrendous conditions has caused productivity to stall, and a shrinking workforce will soon drive up wages.

Surprising discoveries

Counterterrorism analysts love The Onion. A sociologist spends a year in the CIA and writes a dissertation about the office culture.

A jellyfish swarm shut down a Swedish nuclear power plant. Engineers were forced to power down the reactor after moon jellyfish gummed up the plant’s intake pipes.

There’s plastic on Saturn’s biggest moon. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft found propylene on Titan.

Meet the TomTato. The combination tomato-potato plant—created not by genetic modification by old-school grafting—is on sale in Britain.

What comes after 3D printing? 4D printing. Printing stuff out of adaptive materials could yield things like water pipes that don’t break in the winter and furniture that assembles itself.

Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, queries, TomTato recipes and radioactive jellyfish to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.


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